President Joe Biden departed the White House for a vacation in Wilmington, Delaware as multiple crises escalated Thursday, most notably the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan that has forced the Pentagon to send troops to the country in a desperate attempt to help Americans there escape.
The Pentagon announced Thursday that the military is sending two Marine and one Army infantry battalion, roughly 3,000 troops, to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul in an effort to provide security for embassy personnel and other Americans trying to evacuate the country. An additional 3,500 troops out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina will deploy to Kuwait as a stand-by force in case needed.
The deployments come as the security situation in Afghanistan has quickly deteriorated in recent weeks, with Taliban forces rapidly taking over much of the country as they close in on the capital city of Kabul. Some intelligence assessments of the situation on the ground are dire, with one assessment predicting the Taliban could take control of the capital within a month.
US MILITARY TO HELP EVACUATE AMERICANS FROM EMBASSY IN KABUL: OFFICIALS
But the security situation isn’t the only crisis the U.S. faces as Biden heads to Delaware for his summer break, as it was also revealed Thursday that more than 212,000 people were encountered crossing the border in July. That number was a 13% increase over June and represented a two-decade high, dampening White House hopes that the summer heat would cause migrants to rethink the dangerous trek.
The situation at the border has only been worsened by the highly contagious delta variant, with reports of thousands of COVID-19 positive migrants packing detention facilities before they are released to their destinations throughout the country.
The delta variant has resulted in a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, particularly in southern states such Arkansas and Mississippi that have recorded new highs in hospitalizations.
Meanwhile, a key inflation measure surprised economists by hitting yet another record high, with producer price inflation rising 7.8% over the 12 month period ending in July. That number was the highest recorded in the over ten-year history of the metric, raising fears inflation could stick around longer than some predict.
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The evolving crises have put pressure on Biden to rethink his vacation plans, delaying his departure and forcing him to spend some time at Camp David.